Session: 2023-2024

ACLU-PA Position: Opposes

SB 525 (PN 699) would limit the number of right to know requests from repeat—or "vexatious"—requesters. There are at least two, arguably fatal, constitutional problems with any "vexatious" requester provision:

  1. It would violate the First Amendment right to petition the government; and
  2. It would violate the Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.

If enacted, SB 525 would, for the first time in the 65-year history of Pennsylvania’s public records law, permit agencies to pick and choose which Pennsylvanians are entitled to access to public records. If a record is public, then it should be available to all members of the public—without exception. Changing this framework to allow government agencies to condition access based on who the requester is, or what their intentions are, opens a Pandora’s box that would be nearly impossible to close.

Check the bill's status here.


Senator Cris Dush



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